Depression: a downward spiral.

Since being diagnosed with depression I have had no therapy. The only help I have received is an out of hours number and a number for crisis. This is appalling. I have previously had two hospital admissions and I don’t want to let myself get that bad that I have to phone ooh or crisis. Hospital was traumatic and I’ll do anything to avoid it again.

The last two days I have began to faulter after seeming to feel ‘okay’ for some time. This isn’t bad in terms of risk but I know what’s to come and the thought is distressing. I know that it’s going to get worse however much I tell myself to stay positive. It almost a feels like your are spiralling out of control and whilst spiralling my emotions seem to disappear. I just feel empty. This is possibly the worst and most dangerous feeling as this leaves me exploited to self harm and suicide. When I’m sad I think about family and the effects suicide may have on them, however when I feel empty there is no thinking about other people, there is no feeling! I think it’s really important that I have therapy to know how to utilize coping strategies for
my depression and OCD.

I understand that there are other people and waiting lists but it’s so risky leaving somebody with just an ooh number until they need help. Nobody should have to let it get to this stage! There’s only so much self help you can do.

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Twisted experiment?

I often think that someone must have my brain in glass, testing it and probing it to see what outcomes they get. Inspecting my peculiar behaviour?

Sometimes there seems to be no other explanation for the absolute chaos and travesty inside my own head. When I say ‘own’ head I don’t actually mean my own head because I never feel I control it.

Well if there is some twisted, absurd experiment that I don’t know about, I suggest you discard my exhibited part. You won’t get any more out of it.

I guess it would explain something if nothing else … Why I am wired up so differently.

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My support

Since being discharged from hospital my support has been horrendous. It has been 4 months and my care has not been transferred properly. I have received no CBT sessions since I have left and no counselling etc.

I was referred to a primary mental health team when my hospital had specifically written to my gp to ask if I could be referred straight to secondary services. I got told to ring primary services but when I eventually rang (I get severely anxious when speaking on the phone) they told me I was discharged because it has been 7 days and I had not contacted them. This made me feel just awful and I felt I had no support bar my family.

I eventually gained strength from somewhere to attend my gp appointment and asked for another referral. They referred me again and I rang straight away. I now have an appointment.

This has taken four months! In these four months I have struggled to keep my head above water. Why was this allowed to happen given my history?

This would not have happened to somebody who had a heart attack and needed aftercare.

Mental health and physical health needs to be equal.

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My Psychiatric Experience

Back in the summer I had agreed to an involuntary stay on an acute psychiatric ward due to deterioration in my mental health.

During my stay I was allocated a psychiatrist and a psychologist. I was given a bed in a room with three other people which made me feel anxious as in the present state I was in, I did not want to engage with anybody. Anxiety also took over when I found out we all used the same sink and door handle. It was during this point I was asking staff for alcohol wipes so I could wipe myself and everything I possibly could down. I felt disgusting and dirty and even more so when I was told I was only allowed to use alcohol wipes limited times during the day.

Meal times for me was where I suffered most of my panic attacks. The first meal I ever had there, they served it on a hospital plate and cutlery, I could feel my face burning and felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I refused to eat it however staff continued to encourage me in room full of other patients who I felt was staring at me (although this was probably just me). I started to cry to the point where I couldn’t breathe and in my mind this confirmed for me that I shouldn’t be alive. It backed up all my suicidal thoughts.

There was no engagement activities in the hospital to even try to keep my mind off things, I needed something to do especially when my thoughts were racing and suicidal thoughts were flooding my mind … Fast. There was nothing. Staff were around if you began to really struggle however they were also busy as there were a ward full of other patients who also needed help. It was hard being on the ward as there were lots of poorly patients as well as myself which meant sometimes the ward became a tense environment to be in. I found this became a trigger for me.

There were times in hospital I never thought I would make it through to the next day. In fact there were times I nearly didn’t make it and if it wasn’t for staff I wouldn’t be sat here writing this now. Still I am thankful for life, thankful to be sitting here. No matter how suicidal I get, I am always grateful for another chance and grateful for any help I receive at that time.

OCD really took hold of me around the period of my hospital stay … It still takes hold of me now but with support I hope to lessen it’s grip. In hospital nearly every ten minutes I was Left with the pressure of thinking if I didn’t do a particular thing then something bad would happen. I found this very distressing and so hard to deal with. I was consumed by it and at every moment I was panicking and trying to focus to make sure I did everything I had to do so nothing would happen.

It was hard to concentrate in hospital. Every time I became distressed I was offered prn lorazepam which did help with my thoughts however also made me lethargic and tired which affected me in a different way as I was already struggling with getting out of bed due to my depression. I felt it was a vicious circle sometimes.

My stay lasted 5 weeks before I was discharged for a week. This, however was only to be re-admitted a week later. This was possibly my worst admission. Completely withdrawn, nervous at every second of the day, always felt suicidal and completely consumed again by OCD and self harming.
I saw no point in being alive and was planning my death at every moment. I hit crisis point nearly every two days and there was talk of sending me somewhere a bit more secure.

Fortunately I did not get sent somewhere more secure as I had CBT sessions which began to help me cope with my feelings and de-escalated my presentation from what it was. As I started to feel a bit more positive I realised just how still the ward was and how there was no activity whatsoever apart from maybe some bracelet making occasionally or a game of pool of staff were not busy. It was two weeks I stayed and then got discharged with my care moving back up country with me.

I had feelings of relief that I was in that building no more. I missed the simple things, the fresh air, the smell of fresh cut grass and the smell of my mums cooking. I longed to be home.

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